How to get rid of anxiety
So it's another day with good ol’ friend anxiety? That guy is really getting to be a drag. It wakes up next to me, it comes with me to work, and as much as I try to lose it in the freeway, it always comes back home with me. Oh what I would give to know how to get rid of anxiety!
WHAT IS ANXIETY?
Anxiety is better defined as future-oriented fear. We feel anxious because we don't know what is about to happen, because we don’t know the outcome of a situation, or because we don’t know how our life will turn out to be in 10 years.
HOW DOES IT FEEL?
Anxiety stinks! It feels like bees inside your head and the buzzing sound doesn’t let you concentrate on anything else but the anxiety you are feeling. It feels like a heavy rock on your chest. No, no, it feels like an elephant carrying a heavy rock sitting on your chest. It feels nauseating.
I often picture anxiety and fear as a golden cage. I feel safe inside, but I know it is keeping me from doing things I really want to do but am too afraid to try. Which brings me to may next point...
ANXIETY WEARS MANY MASKS
Anxiety usually presents itself in many different costumes. The three main ones that I have been able to recognize are: the friend, the helper and the villain.
When anxiety wears the “helper” costume, it comes subtly and it takes a while for me to realize that anxiety is the one doing all the talking. The main argument anxiety presents when dressed as a helper is: "I’m just letting you know that you’re life is probably gonna suck in the future. No pressure, but just know that I’m right”.
Sometimes these thoughts come out of nowhere. I can be having a great time, and then anxiety creeps in to let me know that good times don’t last forever and that instead I should be preparing myself for my future, horrible life. If I listen closely, I can hear anxiety laughing at me when I believe it.
Anxiety dressed as a helper can, indeed, be helpful, if controlled. How? Well, if you are feeling anxious because you have been procrastinating something you need to do, then listening to your anxiety would be prudent. But if “helper” anxiety gets out of hand it can go as far as causing OCD symptoms, depression and many other anxiety disorders.
Anxiety as a friend can prevent you from doing things you really want to do, but are too scared to try. The main argument of the friend is: “You shouldn’t [insert activity here]. I’m just trying to prevent you the embarrassment from your impendent failure."
When we listen, we stop ourselves from enjoying life just because our good-for-nothing friend just told us to remain immobile. And then we see our lives pass us by.
The villain is the easiest to spot, but hard to ignore. When your anxiety comed straight at your as the villain from the movie of your life, it tells you straight to your face: “You’re a failure and you’ll never amount to anything good!” (evil laugh)
This is a low blow that can leave us feeling utterly depressed. Anxiety realy becomes the villain behind us narrating every step of our lives in a dark, depressing manner, making us feel as a waste of skin.
To overcome anxiety is not easy task. But if anxiety has been with you for so long, there comes a time in which you’re willing to try anything, regardless of how silly it may sound.
What has worked for me, may not work for every one, but at least every one should be willing to give it a try.
Same as I have done with my OCD, practice the art of ignoring. I hate anxiety and I have made it my personal goal to ignore it and refuse to listen to its words full of hatred.
Non-resistance is also a way to go, which is very similar to ignoring. Non-resistance simply means to stop resisting these bad thoughts and simply let them pass through you, and try to ignore thme as they do. One of the reasons anxiety may turn worse than it already is may be because we find ourselves constantly trying to resist anxious thoughts. Stop resisting. Just let them go through instead of fighting them. You can even wave good-bye as these obnoxious thoughts pass through your brain. This often reminds me of my younger brother. When we were little, he used to love bothering me by repeating the same word over and over. He knew this made me furious, and the more furious I became the more he repeated the word. I figured my fury was fueling his desire to continue, so I stopped showing him how furious I was and I would either ignore him or join him in his incessant repetition. He stopped.
Anxiety is just like that annoying, younger brother. It will repeat hurtful things over and over. Our resistance, our sadness and depression are the fuel that can keep these negative thoughts coming back. Stop fueling it. Ignore it and let the thoughts pass by you as water through a river.
I’m not saying this is easy, but as with everything else, practice makes perfect.
Keep fighting. With time you will be teaching others how to get rid of anxiety.
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